You may have noticed that your hands seem drier than usual and are even starting to peel. There are many factors that can contribute to irritated and damaged hands. There are some individuals that are prone to dry skin or have skin conditions such as eczema or psoriasis. To treat peeling hands, you must understand the root cause. Depending on the severity, you will need to invest in a hydrating moisturizer or take prescription medication.
Hand-washing is important to wash germs and bacteria away; however, over-washing can cause your skin to become extremely dry. These past two years you have probably washed your hands more than ever before due to the pandemic. If you notice that your hands are more dry than usual, you should make sure you engage in the following practices. When washing your hands, stick to lukewarm water and wash for about 20 seconds. When it is time to dry your hands, make sure to leave some water on them. Lastly, while your skin is still damp, apply a moisturizing lotion, cream, or ointment. Use products that are fragrance free to prevent your skin from getting irritated. Lastly, don’t use too much hand sanitizer. A little goes a long way and will prevent your skin from becoming overly dry because of the alcohol content in it.
If you have sensitive skin, the climate and temperature can also affect the skin on your hands. During the winter months, the humidity in the air is lower than the warmer months. This can cause people’s skin to crack, dry out, or peel. If you are experiencing this, it’s essential that you apply moisturizer after showering and avoid soaps with fragrances or alcohol. If your skin is extremely dry, make sure to apply petroleum jelly to your hands before bed.
If you suffer from eczema, you will likely experience itching, dry and inflamed skin, swelling and rough patches of the skin. Eczema occurs because of irritants, allergens, and genetics. Atopic hand dermatitis occurs when the skin comes into contact with an irritant. You will notice itchy patches of discolored skin. Your skin may have sensitivity to fragrances, nickel, and rubber gloves which may cause your skin to swell. Treating eczema depends on the severity of your case, but for the most part, those who have to deal with eczema in their everyday life should avoid contact with irritants and fragrant soaps. Medications that help treat eczema include topical steroids that can be found at your local pharmacy. Lastly, certain infections can cause your hands to peel. Infections such as tinea manuum is a fungal infection that starts on the skin of your hands and spread to your fingertips. This infection causes your skin to breakout in sores which then start to peel.
With a few simple steps and the right products, you can heal your severely dry, peeled hands. If these home remedies do not work, call your dermatologist for a consultation. There may be other treatments that can heal the skin of your hands.